I was really wondering where the thread might go and didn't want to jump into a fight thread again so I held back a bit... It's gone well, so I
might as well toss in my two cents.
First... The concerns people have for the Government becoming Big Brother on super-size technology is valid enough, even if some today don't recall
the examples in recent times of how far this CAN go and, with no signs of slowing down yet, appears to BE going in the U.S..
First, an example I recall seeing reports of when they found the rooms and rooms of these in East Germany. Now, we have the museum and what they saved
of one of the most evil secret police organizations since World War II. The East German Stasi.
When I think of the Government collecting a hundred little tidbits about me that all add up to nothing by themselves..I think of this. I think of the
'Library of Jars'.
A row of sealed jars, each containing a seemingly innocuous yellow dust cloth, forms part of the museum's permanent exhibition. But these jars
were part of the East German secret police's collection of scent samples used to keep track of dissidents.
They collected fragments and pieces to establish a scent record on their citizens. This was so the dogs would be able to hunt them down later, if
needed, if they made a run for freedom across the wall or became a problem in some other way needing clipped.
A store-room filled with thousands of jarred scent samples sounds would be a fine scene for a rather dark espionage or conspiracy game. A dimly
lit (or windowless) concrete building, row upon row of shelves with neatly labelled jars. Can they find their own names there? Loved ones, friends,
people they have met? The articles mention that apart from scents, they collected samples of hair, handwriting, even saliva – could the characters
find a little cross-section of their lives?
That is just one example of how Communism and what the West fought during the decades of the cold war manifested itself against it's own citizens.
It's what people have good reason to watch for and insure never happens again. As the Founders said, Eternal Vigilance is the price of Freedom. Yes,
it sure is.
Now...Here is WHY people need worry in the modern age. Echelon. A joint program run between the United States, United Kingdom and Australian
governments to monitor, in essence, EVERY electronic communication of any form, anywhere on Earth. Success is debatable....but the Tooele, Utah data
center should remove the technical issues Echelon has experienced since it's inception.
ECHELON is a term associated with a global network of computers that automatically search through millions of intercepted messages for
pre-programmed keywords or fax, telex and e-mail addresses. Every word of every message in the frequencies and channels selected at a station is
automatically searched. The processors in the network are known as the ECHELON Dictionaries. ECHELON connects all these computers and allows the
individual stations to function as distributed elements an integrated system. An ECHELON station's Dictionary contains not only its parent agency's
chosen keywords, but also lists for each of the other four agencies in the UKUSA system [NSA, GCHQ, DSD, GCSB and
It's a global kind of thing. I once doubted this may exist and as a test back in the late 90's, some friends and I decided to play 'find the
keyword!'. We figured if such a thing existed, certain keywords would have to trip it. . Anyway, the network I had then gave us the tools to see a
response from within our own private IRC chat server on our dedicated equipment. It worked. It worked TOO well...and removed all doubt I ever had that
this existed back then and earlier.
The keyword, since I'm sure it doesn't matter these days was "Project Rainbow". It took screwing with some other context lines mixed in for chat
before it brought a response, but when it did, it was BIG and went for a good part of the evening. Many hits from a little post in Southern Arizona (
) and a variety of other places. So...I'd say it's all real enough. It's just computer driven and controlled. I don't think humans even look at
things unless the computers have said at least a couple ways, it's worth seeing. I doubt any human even saw what happened with our experiment. We
triggered computer responses, I'm almost sure of it. It's still something to note though. When the NSA facility in Utah is fully functional, it'll
raise Echelon to a whole new level...or whatever program may be added to it by now to improve the concept.